Delaware, the first state, has been working to reduce its energy use, in addition to offering incentives for renewable energy. The state really started boosting its efforts in 2009 under Governor Jack Markell (D). Markell assembled a council of citizens to develop plans for reducing the state’s energy consumption. Since then the state has enacted a renewable portfolio standard requiring the state’s utilities to source 25 percent of their energy from renewable resources by compliance year 2025-2026, it also requires at least 3.5 percent of the energy to come from solar. As of October 2012, the state’s Green Energy Fund was under review to make sure it meets the needs of the state’s RPS.
To meet those requirements, the state’s utility companies, offer incentives to homeowners and small businesses, including farms, to go solar. The state also offers low-interest rate loans to support solar and other renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency improvements for residents in the state. Like other states in the U.S., Delaware has a renewable energy credit market under allowing renewable energy generators to sell the credits to a third-party like a utility to help them meet their RPS requirements.
Incentives in the state have been popular in the past and are often exhausted quickly, so it’s a good idea to check with the state and local utilities to find out what the most current rebate levels. Residents and businesses can learn more about local options through qualified installers and Energize Delaware, a service from Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU), a non-profit organization created by Delaware in 2007, that has information about sustainable energy options and incentives to make it easier for folks to go solar, renewable and energy efficient in Delaware.
As of Oct. 2012, most of Delaware’s incentive programs were fully subscribed, meaning they’re not accepting applications. However, the state and utilities could open up future rounds of funding in 2013.
(Updated Oct. 2012)
Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, others
Varies per utility
|Required Documentation||Energy audit, completed application and use of an approved vendor|
|Official Web Site|
Delaware’s Green Energy Program was set up by the state, but is administered by its utilities under three separate systems. The state’s investor-owned utility, Delmarva Power & Light has its program. The state’s municipal utilities have another and the Delaware Electric Cooperative has another plan under the larger program. Under the program the utilities collect money to pay for a green energy fund, which supports the incentive programs that offer rebates for solar and other renewable energy technologies. Now, projects financed through third parties, like power purchase agreements (PPAs) also qualify for the rebate.
To receive a rebate, the homeowner must be in the service territory of a utility that collects funds for the program. Before undertaking a renewable energy installation, they must get a home energy audit from an approved contractor, which can be found on the Green Energy Program site listed above. There are links to each program and its current funding status as well. As of October 2012, the state was reviewing the Green Energy Fund and most, if not all programs were not taking new applications.
|Technologies||Passive Solar, Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Hydroelectric, and Fuel Cells|
|Amount||Up to 25 percent of equipment costs|
|Required Documentation||Completed application, relevant permits. Proof of local code compliance|
|Official Web Site||http://www.energy-grants.net/technology-and-demonstration-grants/|
This program offers funding for novel technologies or the new application of old technologies. The grant, funded by the Delaware Clean Energy Fund and the public benefits program, is designed to encourage creative problem solving and the generation of new power-saving and power-developing technologies.
In addition to proving the project is innovative, applicants must show they will offer an educational element. This can include placing the technology in a facility where the public will be able to take tours and learn about it or integrating it into an educational program at a university or public school.
Grants cannot exceed 25 percent of the state’s annual Green Energy Fund balance.
|Program Type||Net Metering|
|Technologies||Photovoltaic, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Small-scale Hydroelectric, and Fuel Cells using renewable fuels|
|Amount||Retail power rate, up to 110 percent of expected use|
|Required Documentation||Completed application and inspection from the local Utility|
|Official Web Site||http://www.state.de.us/delpsc/default.shtml|
Delaware’s net metering program allows homeowners to produce their own clean power to fulfill their household energy needs but still get power from the grid if the power they produce isn’t enough. At the end of the year, the Delaware Green Energy Fund buys unused power from homeowners at the wholesale electricity rate.
|Program Type||Performance-based incentive|
Dependent on system size and winning bid price
Accepted Completed Solar System Interconnection Application
|Official Web Site|
As of Oct. 2012, this program is not accepting new applications for the pilot SREC program.
Like a growing number of states, Delaware’s moving from rebate-style incentive programs to performance-based incentive programs. Following Delaware’s Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program Delaware launched a pilot program. The pilot, for compliance year 2011, was designed to create an SREC market within Delaware, upon which solar owners (home and business) could sell SRECs. It was designed for evaluation and revision, but the state has not yet renewed the program or introduced the final version of the incentive program.
The SREC program has a number of different tiers ranging from less than 50 kilowatts and up to 2 megawatts. The state’s Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) is set up to administer all aspects of the bid process for each utility that decides to participate. At this point only Delmarva Power is participating in the program.
Under the tiers for smaller installations, homeowners could qualify for SRECs at a value of up to $260 per kilowatt generated. Small commercial systems, between 50 kilowatts and 250 kilowatts qualified for SRECs of up to $240 per kilowatt generated. That’s for the first 10 years of operation. After that the SREC rate falls to $50 per kilowatt hour from the years 10 to 20. Larger systems in the program are subject to a bidding process.
State Loan Program
State Rebate Program
Utility Rebate Program
Rules, Regulations & Policies
Building Energy Code
Energy Efficiency Resource Standard
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Public Benefits Fund
Renewables Portfolio Standard
Solar/Wind Access Policy
Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Related Programs & Initiatives
The U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) provides information, data and tools to help fleets and other transportation decision-makers find ways to reduce petroleum consumption through the use of alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, and other fuel-saving measures.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Green Power Network provides news and information on green power markets and activities, including opportunities to buy green power. This site provides state-by-state information on green power marketing and utility green power programs. In addition, the site lists marketers of renewable energy credits (RECs), also known as green tags or renewable energy certificates, which represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient. Through this program, weatherization service providers install energy-efficiency measures in the homes of qualifying homeowners free of charge. The WAP program web site offers a state-by-state map of opportunities, projects and activities.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America site provides state-by-state information on wind projects and activities, including wind working groups, validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, state-specific news, wind for schools, workshops and web casts.